The November 10, 2011, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with documentary film Maker John A. Ponsoll, the executive producer of Honor in the Valley of Tears.
Program Date: November 10, 2011
Program Time: 1500 hours, PACIFIC
Topic: Honor in the Valley of Tears
About the Film
A feature length documentary about Congressional Medal of Honor recipient 1st Sgt. David H. McNerney and the men of A-Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry of the 4th Infantry Division that he trained and led into a bloody, yet forgotten battle near Polei Doc in the Central Highlands of Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War. This area was later known as The Valley of Tears.
In the men's own words, through the stories they recount, the film gives us insight into the time these men spent together and the bond they formed that remains unbroken to this day. The men of A-Company trained together for eleven months and served together for one year. Their story begins with basic training at Ft. Lewis, Washington in 1965 and continues 40 years later at their most recent reunion in September 2007. The highlight of the film is a detailed, first-hand account of their intense combat encounters, including the events of March 22, 1967 (for which Sgt. McNerney was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor). He is celebrated by the men he trained and served with and whose lives he saved on March 22, 1967.
Conceived by Executive Producer John A. Ponsoll, whose father served with A-Company and who documented his tour of duty with a Kodak slide camera, the film honors the memory of A-Company 1/8 and their incredible courage and dedication to one another.
About the Guest
John Ponsoll is a native of Danville, Kentucky. He graduated from Centre College in 1999 with a degree in English and Spanish. For the last 11 years he has worked as a marketer in pharmaceutical industry and has lived in Morristown, New Jersey. During this tenure, John's love of film collided with opportunities for film production when in 2006 he met Eric while working for a marketing agency in New York City. Growing up, John used to climb into the attic and explore his father's Vietnam memorabilia, including the pictures he took while in the Army. John made this film initially as a means to better understanding his father and as a tribute to the men his father served with in Vietnam from 1965-1967.
Honor in the Valley of Tears is his first foray into movie-making (though it won't be his last). John is Co-Executive Producer of Our Last Supper, which is currently in Post-Production. John enjoys traveling and maintains an active interest in all things Kentucky-related.
About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.
About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, law enforcement technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.
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Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA